Parents worried as students ride Limestone County buses with no AC

Transportation officials told WAAY 31 every bus purchased since 2009 has air conditioning, but that’s only 67 out of 131 buses.

Posted: Aug 12, 2019 7:28 PM

More than half of the school buses in Limestone County don't have air conditioning, so students are having to take precaution as they board in this hot weather.

WAAY 31 spoke with parents about the changes they'd like to see.

“My daughter would be on the bus one whole hour before they would let her off and she would just be so hot, she would just fall asleep," Amy Thomas said. "It’s not good when they get hot and fall asleep.”

If any parent knows about buses with no air conditioning, it’s Amy Thomas.

Her daughter is now driving but used to ride the bus to school, and, Thomas says, on the afternoon routes, her daughter would come home sweating.

With the current heat advisory we’re under, Thomas is now worried about other riders.

“I have nieces and nephews. And kids around here, period. These kids, all kids. They need water on the bus," Thomas said. "I think they should at least have a cooler.”

And she’s not the only one concerned. Some parents and grandparents said it was news to them when WAAY 31 told them less than half of Limestone County school buses actually have air conditioning.

“I thought they had AC on all of the buses," Robert McClear said.

District officials told WAAY 31 they sent out an alert about the heat advisory to drivers, principals, and coaches.

They also encouraged students to drink lots of water throughout the school day.

When they get on the bus, the students are asked to keep the windows down, but some folks don’t believe that helps.

“That doesn’t do anything but circulate hot air," McClear said.

Transportation officials told WAAY 31 the longest a student would be on a bus would be about an hour and fifteen minutes, which has some parents thinking about how to provide the kids with water during that commute.

“When there’s a heat warning, five dollars a day for a cooler, ice, and water on the bus," McClear said. "What’s that going to cost the county?”

“I would pitch in," Thomas added. "I would donate if it has something to do with a child not having any water and dehydrating.”

The principals at Tanner High School and Tanner Elementary School bought and handed out water to their students today due to the heat advisory.

Parents told WAAY 31 they hope other schools will do the same.

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